Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Just My Luck


directed by: Donald Petrie
starring: Lindsay Lohan, Chris Pine

Released in 2006.

This is a movie that you probably won't know off the bat.  It's Lindsay Lohan at the start of her fall from grace, though at no fault on the part of Just My Luck, and Chris Pine at the start of his ascent.

Lohan was a darling as a child actor, whether in The Parent Trap or Mean Girls.  When she grew up, like all child actors she suddenly realized that she wasn't a kid anymore, and that all the fame she'd had was based on very innocent roles, so she started to become that much less innocent in her real life.  Luck, however, is still very much an innocent kind of movie, not a Disney movie like so many of her previous projects but it might as well have been.  It's also one of her first roles where she was asked to carry the movie on her own merits, rather than depending on a studio or gimmick to do it for her.  Except it's very much a gimmick movie, too, as the title helps explain.

Lohan's character has all the luck in the world.  Pine's has none.  Through a movie magic fluke, they exchange luck, and the results for Lohan are supposed to be charmingly hilarious.  Except they end up being more embarrassing than charming, at least as anyone who expected something a little more adult from here at this point would have wanted.  Like I said, it's not Disney but it's very much Disney, and Lohan hasn't figured out what kind of actor she is outside of the Disney formula that to this point in her career has completely defined her.  This is not to say she's untalented, as people tended to start believing once she started asserting herself (the same thing that happened to Jennifer Lopez once she started a pop music career and dared to continue acting).  It's just, Luck may have been a poor choice.

For Pine, it's much the same kind of performance he had in Princess Diaries 2, the romantic lead who plays second fiddle to his more famous costar.  If people had cared about him at this point in his career, he might have gotten stuck in these roles, and not begun to explore his more edgy side, evidenced in Smokin' Aces and Star Trek (with a transition between the two in Bottle Shock).  So it's almost a good thing, as far as Pine's career goes, that Luck was luckless.

Just My Luck is not a bad film, but it's also not highly recommended, except to see Lohan and Pine in transition.

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